Thanks Maveno. I'm probably reading too much into it, but the fact that they didn't say anything may mean more than if they had said something. This is a crew that likes to mess around with you.
As far as the surfer ep and the offering the HO a job - I think Marc was joking around with the guy (who is a professional painter). What I picked up from what he said was that Marc was giving him a little ribbing about being an HO with actual skills and that the crew was going to keep him. I never thought he was serious - maybe it's because I have a very similar sense of humor as Marc, but I never take anything he says seriously, he can deadpan with the best of them. Marc's also said that James is leaving (he was giving him crap about a job he either didn't do well or didn't do on time...something James had done that was annoying that of course I'm drawing a blank on now), but he isn't from everything I've read and heard.
Some of the eps I've seen lately (I'm right beside you on that IAF marathon, John - I'm only 3 eps from seeing them all finally) are more Clean Sweep meets Trading Spaces than what I'd call classic In a Fix. I like the jobs where the ceiling is falling down, the walls are half ripped out and the HOs are eating off of cardboard boxes because they can't get to their dining room because of the construction debris. That's where I think the team really shines, but maybe it's just hard finding a lot of houses that are that bad.
Justin is an absolute construction god - and I enjoy him all the more for his snarky attitude with James, who is an incredible carpenter and a general slack-off. I ventured over to the home site and read the bios - gee, who'd have guessed Sparky was a male model as well as a real electrician? Greg and Danny are both fairly popular stand-up comedians with lots of experience as GCs, James is a real honest-to-goodness tradesman who did apprenticeships in carpentry and joinery, two of the three designers are nationally acclaimed with big client lists and Jennie is..an actress. One word of advice - don't venture on to the official forums. Scary, scary place.
I'm hoping one of the IAF repeats run this week will be the kitchen mess ep so I can actually see it. Last night was a messed up townhouse that had water spraying from the ceiling (my realtor would have heard from me if I'd had the same problems these HOs did). It was okay, I wish there'd been more time spent on the carpentry/repair issues (who did end up resolving the leak in the ceiling and how did Jenny finish off those boxes - she wouldn't have left them unfinished, I hope) and less on Justin and Sparky messing around with the spray popcorn for the ceiling (and James and his ice cream cone). Is it me or are the eps that have Danny and Greg usually more repair-intensive? Seems like Danny is always putting up a wall and Greg is usually putting in cabinets.